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st. louis cathedral. [ church bells ] >> jackson square, the highway. gone. no access to the river. it's over. >> reporter: and the damage wouldn't end there. >> all you see in front of us, all these trees, all the grassy grounds are gone. this is an up ramp to an elevated highway. >> both the mayor, the governor, the city council, all wanted that elevated highway in the worst way. >> reporter: so a small group of new orleanians went to war. >> we were the underdogs. >> reporter: until reinforcements arrived from san francisco. >> they wouldn't accept a nickel. they came on their own to save the city of new orleans from an elevated highway based on their experience in san francisco with the embarcadero. never seen anything like it. >> reporter: the san francisco brigade's best weapon, one single image. >> we had a photograph of the embarcadero as it passed in front of the ferry building in san francisco. and we juxtaposed a drawing that we did of the vieux carre riverfront expressway elevated in front of jackson square and we sent
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